Monday, February 08, 2010

When i was being bullied, the strongest weapons my enemies possessed was their capacity to make me complicit in the process. To make me a willing victim.
That's how the most successful and dangerous bullies work: they make their victims agree to what is happening to them.
The best ones even manage to hide from their victims the fact they are being bullied at all.
I never used to see myself as being oppressed as a transsexual, for instance. If i suffered and felt bad about myself, i reasoned, it was because I was a bad person. And so deserved it.
If my beliefs and opinions were discounted and jeered at, it was because they were worthless.
If my dreams never came to be, it was because they were impossible and absurd.
And so on.
I consented to remaining a victim because there did not seem to be an alternative.
I couldn't see one.
And I rejected or was unable to listen to anyone who seemed to offer me one.
And I learned to numb myself to the suffering, to detach myself from it.
Even to find it preferable in its constant, almost reassuring presence, to the unknown terrors of the world beyong the bully's prison walls.
And then to take the first steps to escape the bullying do feel agonising: because it somehow involves taking on board all the pain you've learnt to shut down from.
Freedom comes at a cost: but nothing else is truly worth paying for.

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